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Very close up shot of wheat crop ears in field

Report: 24 September 2010 (for week beginning 20 September 2010)

Report compiled by Farming Online from reports received from members of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants

24 September 2010: The last seven days have seen a lot of cereals sown. Crop emergence and growth has been rapid over the last week but soil temperatures are set to fall as a cold front crosses the country.

Slug activity is still low.

Check your winter barley TWGs.

Winter Oilseed Rape

image from FoL

Palace winter oilseed rape.
Photo Phillip Tuplin.

South East: Good seedbeds have meant that establishment has been good. Most advanced crops now at the two leaf stage.

Slugs: very little activity seen so far.

Turnip sawfly: adults seen in crops last week but no sign of larvae yet.

Blackgrass: high levels emerging with crop and volunteer cereals.

South West: Ample moisture and good seed beds mean crops are now racing on with changes visible by the day. Some crops drilled in the third week of August, which now have at least 4 leaves, are due to receive a PGR triazole. They must be applied in good growing conditions if they are to do any good.

Slugs: very low levels. Only sporadic damage seen.

Blackgrass: high levels of emergence.

Eastern Counties: Most advanced rape at 3 to 4 leaves with a lot at expanded cotyledon - first pair of true leaves. Excellent rapid establishment all round. Still some slow growth on early drilled fields where heavy rain and herbicide effects haven't helped. Can especially see herbicide slowing growth on spray overlaps.

Flea beetle: a lot of flea beetle and some leaf miner damage on early drilled crops.

Slugs: just beginning to see small amounts of slug activity.

Blackgrass: emerging with rape in large numbers in places.

Other weeds: rapid emergence of volunteer barley on some non inversion tillage fields. Action required soon to prevent competition and in particular barley taking moisture. Poppies just beginning to emerge at cotyledon stage on light soils.

East Midlands: Lot of crops only just at cotyledon to 1 leaf with the odd forward crop at 2-3 leaves. Later drilled crops yet to emerge.

Slugs: attack levels low but many crops treated with low rates of pellets - where used some fields showing high levels of dead slugs/slime trails.

Weed control: herbicide going on some crops at early cotyledon.

West Midlands: Crops range from chitting to four true leaf stage.

Slugs: not a major issue at the moment.

North East: Most crops were drilled late August and early September into good seedbeds and have emerged very evenly. Forward crops at 3-4 leaves (see photo of Palace near Scarborough), and later sown at expanded cotyledons 1 true leaf.

Slugs: all non-inversion seedbeds are very high risk, but most crops drilled at low seed numbers so only a few slugs needed to do serious damage.

Weed control: all crops have now been sprayed.

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Winter Wheat

image from FoL

Good seedbeds being prepared.
Photo Farming Online.

South East: Drilling of Claire, Scout and Viscount underway in last few days. Will begin drilling Solstice, Gallant and Cordiale next week and Xi19 the week after. Most first wheats should hopefully have been been drilled by the end of September (except Soissons and crops after grain maize/potatoes). Farms growing second wheat Cordiale/Solstice with take-all seed treatment plan to finish drilling by 5-7 October.

Slugs: trapping in fields after oilseed rape pre-/or post-drilling is indicating generally low levels of slugs - populations are generally very low though on fields that have been disced/cultivated twice pre-drilling.

South West: Crops range from still in seed bag to two leaves. Seeds are germinating and emerging rapidly. Soil conditions still ideal and heavy rain on Thursday has dampened soils for good pre emergence herbicide activity. Good seed bed conditions and well consolidated soil over seed means that seed hollowing by slugs has been confined to seed left on the surface. Even ploughed seed beds on heavy land have worked down well with few clods and air spaces.

Slugs: none seen.

Eastern Counties: Sowing has only just started and no crops have emerged yet.

East Midlands: First wheat going in this week. Germination generally good in mid 90's. Soils a bit sticky on heavier land leading to some lumpy seedbeds.

West Midlands: Earliest crops approaching GS12. Those that have finished first wheat are now drilling second wheat as of Monday 20th. Majority of wheat now in after oilseed rape.

Slugs: only had to treat two fields so far.

North East: Earliest sown crops fully emerged now at GS11. Most first wheats drilled in last few days. Field conditions are very good allowing excellent seedbeds for crop establishment and efficacy of pre-emergence herbicides. Had 10mm rainfall in last 7 days so plenty of moisture in seedbeds and hope the current forecast doesn't result in enough to make seedbeds difficult to work without compaction.

Slugs: still only low numbers have been seen active in rape stubbles so far, but conditions are getting more conducive to slug activity with every shower. Seed treated with products that offer some protection to the germinating seed have been used on many first wheats, but will monitor and apply a persistent but low active ingredient pellet as crops emerge on high risk sites.

Blackgrass: robust pre-em mixes are planned depending on likely blackgrass pressure. Crop safety is paramount, good soil cover over the seed is essential. There is moisture in the ground now so hopefully there will be better results than in Autumn 2009.

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Winter Barley

: Watch sowing rates as very high thousand grain weights this year. For example seed stocks of Saffron in the West Midlands have a tgw of 59.

South East: None yet drilled.

South West: First winter barley crops in ground and likely to emerge in a day or so.

Eastern Counties: None yet drilled.

East Midlands: None yet drilled.

West Midlands: Crops going in as of Friday 17th, these crops already have shoots.

North East: Earliest sown at GS11 and has emerged very evenly. Most crops will be drilled over next few days as first wheat drilling is completed.

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Crop Report compiled by Farming Online from reports received from members of the Association of Independent Crop Consultants.

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